Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Select a Safer Alternative: Key Questions & Display Results

Decisions that thoughtfully weigh the pros and cons of safer alternatives benefit your company and your workforce. This step will help you organize information on hazard, cost, and performance, as well as evaluate potential trade-offs, in order to select alternatives that will improve worker safety and health.

Key Questions:

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative with regard to hazard, performance, and cost?
  • What trade-offs exist for each alternative?
  • How should the various criteria and impacts be weighed to select alternatives that best enhance worker safety and health?
  • Are there other considerations to weigh when determining the best option (energy use, water use, environmental impacts, hazardous waste management, upstream or downstream hazards to workers, etc.)?

Display Results:

After gathering information about potential alternative chemicals, materials, products or processes, it is important to organize the data for each alternative, including information about the data sources, quality, and gaps. Thoughtfully presenting the data gathered during an alternatives assessment can help facilitate the decision-making process. The Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse provides some useful models for arraying data in ways that allow decision-makers to visualize gaps and identify tradeoffs.

Key Example

U.S. EPA’s Design for the Environment Program Alternatives Assessments

After completing an alternatives assessment, the Design for the Environment Program compiles hazard data for each alternative evaluated in order to facilitate decision-making. The results are presented qualitatively by endpoint and also clarify the origin of the data (i.e., experimental, estimated values, professional judgment).
Safer Alternatives Presenting

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